(Chelsea Update would like to thank Trinh Pifer for the information in this story.)
What is C2S2? It’s not a complicated math problem or a chemical compound. It’s an innovative
program that helps seniors “age in place,” independently and connected to their community.
In just one year, Chelsea Community Senior Services (C2S2) has completed more than 750 requests for assistance. Seniors aged 60 plus within the Chelsea School District have been very grateful for a program that connects them with local volunteers and service providers. While some are simple requests such as raking leaves, others include trips to medical appointments and dialysis which are important to maintaining good health.
According to Judy and Denny Smith, Chelsea residents since 1978,“C2S2 has been a life saver. They connected us with a local home healthcare person to help with meals and housekeeping when we went through a tough period of health issues. Knowing that we can call C2S2 for referrals or help is wonderful.”
With nearly200 clients and just over 100 volunteers, C2S2 is very thankful to have such amazing people who care about the seniors in our community. Volunteers have spent close to 400 hours connecting with seniors and have driven 1,500 miles to make sure seniors can get to appointments and groceries when needed.
Bill Lewis has been a C2S2 volunteer from the beginning and has given many rides.“I feel lucky to be in a place where I can offer some assistance to those who need it. It feels good to help and I have met some very nice people.”
Examples of services provided by volunteers include: transportation, tech/computer assistance, light yard work, and friendly calls to isolated seniors. Karin Riske, C2S2 volunteer and a retired nurse from the Chelsea Retirement Community and VA hospital, helps make weekly friendly calls to isolated seniors.
“I enjoy being able to provide this service. Some calls take 5 minutes, but some calls may last half an hour or more. I enjoy the conversations very much and have gained insight into the journey of aging. It can be very reassuring to know that someone is thinking of you and checking in every week, especially if you’re living alone,” Riske said.
When appropriate, seniors may be referred to local service providers for personal care, construction, housekeeping, and snow removal services. C2S2 maintains a database of providers who have been referred or have completed an application.
C2S2 also connects seniors to well-established programs that few may realize exist such as the Community Living Program through the Area Agency on Aging 1-B, which can assist in paying for personal care, chores, and budgets among other things.
Chelsea Community Senior Services started as part of a collaborative effort between Silver Maples, the Chelsea Senior Center, and other local organizations wanting to bring a “village” program to Chelsea. It is a single source of support for seniors, helping them locate the resources
they need and assisting in keeping seniors connected to their community.
Startup funding was made available by the Chelsea Area Wellness Foundation as part of its 5-Healthy Towns initiative. Year two funding is supported by the Chelsea Community Foundation.
New service providers and volunteers are always needed. For more information about the C2S2 program, please call the Chelsea Senior Center at 475-9242.